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Cruising with Theme Park Review! Quantum of the Seas!


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Here is my opinion on the RCI vs Carnival thing. You get what you pay for. There is no comparison between RCI and Carnival., but RCI is more expensive...most of the time. I like RCI much more than Carnival, but I don't hate Carnival. I live in Orlando, so I do at least one cruise a year, and I've actually done more Carnival than RCI, but it isn't because I like it more. I have been on Ecstasy (the cruise right before your Klassy Kruise, actually), Destiny, and Freedom, and I am going on Sunshine over the summer. I have nothing but good things to say about Carnival, but it is certainly different than RCI or Disney.

 

Also, I'm super jealous that you are on Quantum...it looks amazing!!! I had a friend on the first sailing out of NY, and they LOVED it!!!!

Lol I thought you were talking about the drug until you explained it was a cruise ship. For a second, I thought this was your reason for going with Carnival.

 

I'm loving this trip report! Never been on a cruise before, but I'll make sure my first one is with Royal Carribean (the name I think? I forgot the name of the cruise line).

 

Yeah no... It's a ship that is basically themed to neon. Everything has neon on it. All of Carnivals ships were like this until a few years ago when they got a new designer. My favorite ship in RCI is Enchantment. I LOVE that ship. It's not too big, or too small, so it is a really good ship for your first cruise!

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Looks like an amazingly beautiful ship! Ten years ago had someone told me that RCI would build new classes of ships that would continue to be just as innovative as the Voyager class was, I would've thought it to not be possible. I can't wait to see how RCI continues to innovate!

 

My only tiny gripe is I think that the Esplanade is a little plain in decor, but considering RCI's plans for the ship overseas, it makes sense.

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There is no comparison between RCI and Carnival., but RCI is more expensive...most of the time.

This is actually NOT TRUE AT ALL!!!!!

 

I absolutely HATE it when people say this because it's just shows people aren't doing research or are ignorant to cruise ship pricing. Go ahead, do some research right now and you'll find that RCI and Carnival are actually very close in their pricing, but light years apart in quality!

 

I quickly went to both sites and looked up 6 and 7 night cruises in January leaving out of ports in Florida...

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Ok so in this comparison, Allure might be more expensive, but it's also the LARGEST CRUISE SHIP IN THE WORLD and still probably the best ship I've ever been on. Well worth the extra $200. And you can see that other options are very comparable.

 

The idea that Carnival is much cheaper than Royal Caribbean is simply not true. Carnival just banks on their customers being so much DUMBER than they aren't smart enough to do the research and discover this for themselves!

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^ Gross. I wouldn't sail Carnival again even if it was for free. The clientele is trashy and the ships are disgusting. Can we please keep this discussion on topic? I really don't want to lower the quality of this report by discussing Carnival ships, thanks.

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Wow, I thought we'd pay much more for RC, just for the starting price!

Good to know, and thanks for showing the comparisons, Robb.

 

And Quantum of The Seas looks just amazing!

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I find it odd that the Quantum would be retrofitted as opposed to rebuilding the Anthem of the Seas to suit the needs of the Chinese market. When it was first announced that Quantum would be repositioned, I was curious to know how it would be altered, but I had no idea they would be so extensive. I suppose it would make sense that the retrofits would be funded by the Chinese and perhaps they really wanted to Quantum.

 

On an unrelated note, Kristin's clay Baymax is spectacular!

 

Thank you for yet another amazing insight into your cruising adventures!

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I find it odd that the Quantum would be retrofitted as opposed to rebuilding the Anthem of the Seas to suit the needs of the Chinese market.

I felt the same way, but there is a method to this madness...

 

Originally, when Quantum came to NYC, it was going to do back-to-back cruises, one itinerary to the Caribbean, one itinerary to Bermuda. The Bermuda ports were re-building to make way for a Quantum sized ship. That didn't happen in time, and at the moment, the ship is unable to go to Bermuda, and therefore cannot do the very popular back-to-back cruises with different ports.

 

So instead of keeping Quantum here on limited ports in can reach, they are going to swap it out with Liberty which CAN do the back-to-back itinerary and offer more ports, and then once Anthem gets here, those ports should be ready to accommodate that ship.

 

On top of that, apparently China made a very good deal with RCCL to get that ship. So I think it was a lot of reasons that aren't totally apparent to us that made it all fall into place that way.

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^ Gross. I wouldn't sail Carnival again even if it was for free. The clientele is trashy and the ships are disgusting. Can we please keep this discussion on topic? I really don't want to lower the quality of this report by discussing Carnival ships, thanks.

 

That's the exact reason I steered my friends towards Princess for a birthday "booze cruise" (3-day to Ensenada). I couldn't in good faith make them go on an old Carnival ship.

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Awesome review, Robb! I also live in Orlando and am completely addicted (and pretty darned good at) the iFly here. I think last count I have about 12 hours and am learning how to do flips and fly head down!

 

That said, the idea of having a wind tunnel on a cruise ship is almost too good to be true. A couple questions:

 

1) Is there and upcharge and if so what is it?

2) How many times can you go, and how many minutes of flying per visit?

3) Was it very busy/did you have to schedule your time in advance or could you just walk up?

 

I really appreciate it an this great review!!

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We Take Carnival Cruises Mainly because we live in NC and we can just go to Charleston and get on Carnival Fantasy and have just as much fun as we did on Freedom of the Seas.

 

He's 13. End of discussion.

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1) Is there and upcharge and if so what is it?

The first time you do it, it's totally free.

2) How many times can you go, and how many minutes of flying per visit?

If you pay an extra $50 you can go more. Not sure what the limit is of how many times for $50. You get 60 seconds on your free flight...

 

BUT here's the thing - If you DON'T want to pay the $50, you can still go again for free *IF* there is room towards the end of the cruise. Turns out, Elissa was actually able to go three times for free by just being a "stand by" and filling in a spot for someone that didn't show up for their free reservation. So they were at least being cool about that.

 

3) Was it very busy/did you have to schedule your time in advance or could you just walk up?

It was VERY busy at first, so Elissa scheduled her time early on in the cruise. And then on the second to the last day, she was able to walk up TWICE, and get a spot.

 

Hope that helps!

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How is the line for the Bionic Bar? Also, is there an extra charge due to the fact that KUKA robots are making your drink?

Oddly enough, the Bionic Bar did not seem to resonate well with people. There were a couple of times it was sort of crowded, but mostly people just standing around watching the robots. Most of the time there wasn't anyone there and you could walk right up and make a drink. It was kind of a shame because it seemed like such a cool idea in a fun area, but no one seemed to be doing it.

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Oddly enough, the Bionic Bar did not seem to resonate well with people. There were a couple of times it was sort of crowded, but mostly people just standing around watching the robots. Most of the time there wasn't anyone there and you could walk right up and make a drink. It was kind of a shame because it seemed like such a cool idea in a fun area, but no one seemed to be doing it.

 

I can understand that. It looks cool to watch, but I'd rather pay (and tip) a human making my drink. I'd go find a real person over a robot, even if it required waiting longer.

 

Just a personal preference, maybe from having worked in the service industry.

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Basic question with the robot bar - does the robot make strong drinks? Because if it doesn't, then people will probably gravitate towards human bartenders who for cruise-long tipping might be willing to increase the octane of their product.

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The robot bar was not meant to replace a human or to replace human interaction. It was meant to be just a cool, fun thing to do. Like I said, Some nights they hd a DJ there and people would hang out watch the robots make drinks, take pictures and video, etc. it was well presented. The screens on the side would show what drinks were being made, who created it, and the robots would say funny things on the walls about the drink, etc.

 

It was meant to be a "show." And when they had events there it worked well. I think they just need to tweak it a bit more to work during times when there wasn't a DJ or an event going on there.

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Part four...

 

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"Good morning, Quantum!" says Alex from Madagascar! Our final port day was cancelled due to some rough waters at Coco Cay. Honestly, it didn't matter. We weren't getting off the ship anyway because when your ship has cool things on it, you stay on and explore!

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North Star was running AND it was finally going over the side of the ship! Now THIS was something we had to check out!

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Here we are looking over the ship...

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...and here we are over the water! TERRIFYING!!!

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As terrifying as the ride was, you got some AMAZING views of the ship!

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And here is the arm that brings you 300 feet in the air!

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Felecia says "good morning ocean!"

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iFly guys doing some tricks...

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Robot screens in Two70 also doing some tricks.

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Was cool that they just had these random 5-minute long shows that would go on throughout the day to show off the cool robots.

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Kristen was giving roller skating another try...

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Whoops!

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Tonight's dinner was back at Silk...

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This brought flashbacks to our China trip!

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I seriously would come here every night just for the fried noodles!

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The Mongolian buns were pretty decent, too!

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I was lucky enough to get on North Star at night! They don't normally run it at night, but because of some of the issues they had earlier in the cruise, they had extended the hours a bit.

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OH. MY.... #@$%^ GOD!!! If you thought this was insane during the day, at night it was FREAKING AMAZING!

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This is looking straight down!

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The views of the ship were incredible!

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Here's the other side!

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And then they took us as high up as it would go while still off over the side! Amazing! Seriously terrifying, but AMAZING!

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This shows how far the arm can extend...

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more "control panel porn" from North Star!

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Round two at Jamie's!

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Love the Viewmaster kids menu!

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Now that sounds good!

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Looking inside the Viewmaster!

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This cheese needs more tongue!

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Now THAT my friends is a burger!

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We went from lunch at Jamie's to dinner at Chops! After all the years cruising on Royal Caribbean, we had never tried Chops...until tonight!

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The restaurant is simple, but upscale.

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Some menu pics...

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more yummy goodness...

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Kids menu!

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This pretzel bread. WOW! Between this, the Silk fried noodles, and Jamie's bread basket, I could totally live off these carb-filled yummy items!

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That...is BACON! Pepper Bacon! It was delicious!

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Elissa goes for the french onion soup...and approves!

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Steak dripping in juices? Yes, please!

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Since Elissa is little, she got a little steak! It's soooo cute!

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But for her, it was all about the baked potato!

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This was just mean. Sooooo many good things on the dessert menu!

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Chocolate mud pie!

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Red Velvet Cake.

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Warm ooey-gooey chocolate cake. All amazing!

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Hey look! The floating DJ booth is going!

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It was seriously cool to watch the DJ booth hovering over the roller skaters! What a great idea!

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We checked out the new show on board the ship that JUST premiered tonight!

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If you watch America's Got Talent you might remember William Close and his "Earth Harp." He came in 3rd place!

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And now his show is on Quantum! He makes his own instruments, and the Earth Harp transforms the theater into one GIANT harp!

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All the boys bang things in the show...

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Yup, there is dancing....

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William Close playing this awesome guitar, another one of his musical inventions.

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Playing the Earth Harp with his lovely assistant! The show was a lot of fun and "interesting" to see all the different creations the guy has come up with.

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Taking a walk around the ship tonight, the casino was PACKED!

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Music Hall had plenty of business...

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...but the Esplanade was empty! Everyone was either gambling or dancing!

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Here's a look at the Wonderland Restaurant menu. I have to be honest, the offerings were a little too "adventurous" for us...

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...but the place itself looked nice!

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Here's an overall look at Two70....

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And "The Via" which is kind of the entrance to the area where Two70 is at.

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Shot of the Bionic Bar...

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Oh! And here's a cool feature of the ship...see that glass floor?

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You're standing there looking 10 floors straight down!

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I really hope they open North Star at night more often. It really was awesome!

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Here's a nice shot of the outdoor pool area...

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...and the indoor pool area!

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A shot of the Solarium!

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Loved the little "Quench Me" flags on the lounge chairs!

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Here is the Johnny Rockets take out. (Did I mention how much I like the idea of this being a take-out of this ship?)

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Something for the pinball junkies. (It doesn't work, but it was a cool display...they had a couple of them around the ship.)

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Here's a look at the re-decorated Windjammer.

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It certainly has a cleaner, sleeker look to it.

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This was the crown jewel of Windjammer...

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OMG! We lived off these fresh-baked, melt in your mouth cookies!

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Not sure exactly what the "Eye Wall" is, but it was creepy!

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Here's another look at the casino now that it's not quite as busy.

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They had a cool quarter pushing machine!

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Not sure how the hell this happened, but I walked into the ship casino to get some photos, said "screw it" and put randomly into the first wheel of fortune machine I saw. First play and I hit a "spin" which gave me 0! lol CASH OUT!!!

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The next day, the girls were able to do iFly again! (If there are open reservations, they'll let you stand-by, but there is no guarantee you can get more than one flight per cruise.)

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Kristen was having a blast! The trainers loved having a lighter flying in the tunnel....

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...so they could blast off to the top!

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She loved it! We'll have to try the one here in Orlando!

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Elissa learning a few new tricks.

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North Star going today...

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As with the bumper cars! With this, North Star, Flowrider, iFly, etc, Quantum must be the ship with the most "rides" on it, or at least the widest variety!

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Taking another spin on the bumper cars! They were so much fun!

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Since we loved Jamie's so much, we made a third stop here! Burger and fries again? You bet!

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The pasta was just soooooo good!

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Kristen really wanted to make a drink at the Bionic Bar!

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We discovered that you CAN actually make non-alcoholic drinks!

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We named our drink "SharkTums" and the robots went to work!

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Filling up the cup with Sprite and Fruit Punch!

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One robot drink for Kristen!

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Right as iFly was about to close, Elissa got in one more flight!

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The sun setting on our last night of the cruise.

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Gonna do some trapeze one last time...

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Kristen showing off her skills...

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...just like mommy!

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I'm pretty sure they were the only two on the ship that could do more than just swing! lol

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Fresh Mozzarella was back at Sorrento's so why not make our last meal be an awesome pizza?

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Kristen said "Can you make an animal out of a napkin" so I made a pooping horse! (or I at least tried!) lol

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We had an awesome time on Quantum of the Seas. Kind of sad this ship is going to go away to China in a few months, but happy that her sister ship, Anthem will be replacing her and then it will be very interesting to see the differences between the two ships.

 

Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoyed sailing with us!

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In case you get lost wandering through the gardens, just look for one of these signs!

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As I read more about this ship, and look at more of these photos... The ONLY thing that makes me want to cruise on Quantum is the North Star. With that being said... It STILL is NOT enough to make me want to leave the Oasis class. Hopefully Oasis 3 will include some of the new Quantum features.

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^ It's like I said, I feel the ship is in many ways the spiritual successor to the Radiance class of ships. Which I think is a great thing. In a way I feel like Royal Caribbean has a couple of different product lines that went something like this....

 

Voyager > Freedom > Oasis

 

Vision > Radiance > Quantum

 

Both have a different purpose and slightly different demographic, and all of them are excellent ships!

 

EDIT - What's interesting it what Wikipedia has to say about the Radiance and Quantum classes of ships:

 

The Radiance-class ships have over 3 acres (12,000 m2) of glass, glass exterior viewing elevators, over 700 balcony staterooms, two-level glass windowed dining rooms, alternative restaurants, a retractable glass roof over a pool, an outdoor pool, as well as the first self-leveling billiard tables at sea. The Radiance class ships were constructed at Meyer Werft, Papenburg, Germany.

 

The Quantum-class ships were the first ships built for Royal Caribbean by Meyer Werft since the Radiance class and share many features with those ships, including indoor pools with retractable roofs, vast expanses of glass, outdoor seating in the Windjammer buffet, and self-leveling pool tables

 

Funny - I actually wasn't aware both classes of these ships were built by the same company until now. Now I realize how my assessment makes a bit more sense.

Edited by robbalvey
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